Dodger Minor League Prospects

12th in a series as we count down among the top Dodger prospects

Position- Shortstop
Residence- San Pedro deMacoris, DR
DOB-March 17, 1987
Height- 6-0
Weight-148 B/T- S-R
04 Club- Gulf Coast Dodgers (Rookie)

Rivera is 17 years old, looks like he's about 14 but put a glove on his left hand, station him at short and his actions are of one who's at least 10 years older. He shows excellent range, soft hands and a strong arm plus a seemingly innate feel for the postion.

Right now, though, his slight frame is a drawback, mostly at the plate. Signed for a reported $400,000 bonus in 2003, he debuted this past summer in the Gulf Coast League after spending the spring in the extended camp.

At first, he was driving the ball well but as the season wore on, he became noticeably tired and what were formerly crisp line drives became one-hoppers to the infield. He often had to be rested and wound up at .243-0-14.

The hope is that natural growth plus strength training will enable him to fill out and be more productive on offense. If so, he could well advance to the elite level among prospects. In the meantime, though, the Dodgers landed another highly regarded Dominican hopeful, Yossandy Garcia, who is also just 17 but who at 6-0, 170, is much stronger.